Changing Up Canned Tuna Recipes

Canned Tuna Recipes Makeover

We’ve all been hungry and digging around in the pantry. Lo and behold we come across a can of tuna that has been hiding in plain sight. Ah ha! Familiar can and familiar taste.

Now some of you might be hungry enough to fork the tuna right out of the can. Or you take the time to dump the tuna in a bowl, mix it with a condiment or two, and jam it between two slices of bread. You might be in a creative mood and fold olive oil into the tuna, add some acid (lemon or vinegar), and throw in a few capers and salad fixings. You make tuna a sit-down knife and fork affair.

Tuna Love Affair: Canned or Not

Tuna is a good old-fashioned staple in the world. You can buy a can or a pouch anywhere. You can stretch it many ways in a dish. Everybody knows it.

To be honest, you either love tuna or you don’t. You love fresh tuna, raw or cooked, or you are a canned tuna only person. You prefer the canned in spring water variety, or like me, it has to be packaged in oil. Where we can all agree is that nothing replaces the taste of tuna and it makes both a great meal and a portable on-the-go snack.

Tuna also sits among the leaders in omega-3 content next to salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, oysters and mussels. We showcase seafood as a body-friendly and ready-to-use source of EPA and DHA omega-3 fats in the Influencer Ingredients category of our Genomic Kitchen Ingredient Toolbox. I’ll chat more about those essential omega-3 fats in another post. For this short blog article , I thought it would be fun to feature some unique ways to use a can of tuna that adds zip to the basic tuna salad and ventures further afield.

Five Ways with a Can of Tuna

Far East

These Wild Yellowtail Poke-Inspired Bowls by Rachel (AKA Mash Up Mom) adds Asian flair to a can of tuna. Rachel is also an ambassador for the Wild Planet Foods Brand, one of my “go to” seafood brands. Check out their website for some great recipes using canned seafood.

fresh-tuna-rolls with peanut sauce canned tuna recipes.jpg

While we are Far East with our taste buds, here’s a tasty and unique spin on Lettuce Wraps from Easy Cooking With Molly. Molly uses collard greens instead of lettuce and pairs the wraps with a peanut dipping sauce. Lots of yum here! Click the image for a backgrounder on the recipe . Or download the quick print version here.


This lovely salad recipe is actually a deconstruction of a traditional French recipe called “Pan Bagnant”. Add a unique French spin to tuna by pairing it with capers, kale, red onion, cucumber, and a vinaigrette featuring anchovies, capers and garlic wrapped in an tangy olive oil cloak. Lots of food-gene talking ingredients in this recipe from our consulting chef, Pam Florence.

Noodles Not Pasta!

Now for a twist on tuna “pasta” salad, Kalyn’s Kitchen substitutes spiralized zucchini for traditional noodles. Add some acid, heat (red pepper flakes), olives and aromatics and you have an easy flavorful backdrop for your can of tuna!

Tuna Without the Mayo!

Now I love this recipe because it aligns with one of the core strategies we teach at The Genomic Kitchen called “Wraps, Rolls, and Bowls.” Basically, you can make a salad or Asian-style bowl. Then you take those same ingredients and put them into a wrap (think tortilla) or a roll (think spring roll). Lisa at Delicious Table adds a fresh flavor to her tuna by substituting an avocado and Greek yogurt blend for mayo. Then she pops the flavor with fresh herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, and pepperoncinis. Definitely a great base recipe to play with and make it your own. She also has a unique take on the bowl itself using bell peppers to hold the ingredients!

Learn More about Tuna and Seafood Choices

  1. Omega-3 Content of Canned Seafood:

  2. Seafood Watch: How to make the best tuna purchases

  3. Safe Catch Tuna (Brand)

  4. Wild Plant Foods (Brand)

  5. Vital Choice (Brand)

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